Review: Star Blazers 2199 Season 1 Part 1

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Star Blazers: Earth is on the verge of complete annihilation. Threatened by an intergalactic superpower known as Gamilas, humankind’s last hope for survival depends upon the generous assistance of another alien civilization – Iscandar. The Space Battleship Yamato – manned by a skilled, motivated crew and with advanced tech at its core – has only one year to seek out this planet and recover a device that could revitalize Earth. But Gamilan interference, dangerous cosmic phenomena, and conflict among the officers will test the whole of humanity’s resolve.

Review

Star Blazers 2199 is a remake of the classic Space Battleship Yamato series from the 1970s in Japan. Star Blazers is a space opera at its heart. Watching this series brought back memories of everything I loved about cartoons from the 80s and 90s. The series is well written and just a damn good story. There are plenty of characters to get hooked on. They spend time fleshing out more than just the main group, though it can take some time.

The first half of season 1 covers the Yamatos journey towards Iscandar and the fights they encounter with Gamilas along the way. Much of the main deck crew are young officers who lost most of their loved ones in the planetary bombardments by the Gamilas. Shima and Kodai are childhood friends and both lost those close to them.

The series doesn’t just focus on the fight with Gamilas though. The series also deals with interpersonal relationships and the complex nature of morality and war. Political drama, dissension amongst the crew and unnatural cosmic forces plague the Yamato. What would you do for revenge? Would you save someone who is aligned with your sworn enemy? What if you found out everything you thought you knew about what started this war was wrong?

The beauty of the series is that the bad guy isn’t always the bad guy. Both sides have done things that would paint them as the villain in this world. The Yamato and its crew have to be better then all of them.

The blu-ray and dvd release for season 1 part 1 of Star Blazers includes a digital HD copy from Funimation. The limited edition of the series comes with a chipboard box that can house both part 1 and part 2 (to be released later), along with a collectible art book. Also included are some art cards featuring several main characters and classic shots of the Yamato itself.

I cannot recommend this series enough. If you love space operas, you will love Star Blazers. The english dub has a great cast and sounds amazing. You can pickup your copy of the limited edition or standard edition release at Funimation.com or over at RightStufAnime.com

Robert Prentice